CUC: Cuban convertible peso
If you like island life then a cheap holiday to Cayo Guillermo delivers a double dose. This idyllic resort is on an archipelago off one of the Caribbean’s most enchanting isles, Cuba. The Jardines del Rey – that means ‘gardens of the king’ - islands trace Cuba’s north coast. If you’re planning a beach getaway in 2020, you’ll find the white-sand stretches that make the Caribbean a magnet for visitors from around the world. The off-shore location means even more water, with northerly winds making the Jardines del Rey a favoured location of wind and kite surfers, who share the crystal-clear waters with divers exploring the world’s second biggest coral reef. They’re checking out the extraordinary marine life, but you can stay dry while watching the flamingos that are the big wildlife attraction of the island’s south coast. Luxurious all-inclusive hotels are the chief accommodation here these days, but the Cayos were once a favourite destination of legendary tough-guy writer, Ernest Hemmingway. And if you want to explore more of Cuba’s fascinating culture the mainland is just across the causeway.
Cayo Guillermo at a glance
Discover the best beaches
We're in love with the powdery sands and emerald waters of Playa Pilar
Perfect for watersports
This is a kitesurfing paradise & ideal diving spot
Lush natural wonders
Explore gorgeous Isla Media Luna
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Things to do in Cayo Guillermo
Somewhere between the beach and the pool with a long rum drink in your hand is probably the go-to spot for most holidays on Cayo Guillermo. And natural beauty is the big attraction on the island, with white-sand beaches wherever you look. That means diving centres, surf schools and the like are favourite attractions around the island, with some adventure holiday options away from the sea front. You can enjoy guided bird-watching or head out to sea in a glass-bottomed boat if you want to get closer to the wildlife. Over on the mainland, the town of Ciego de Ávila is the provincial capital, where you’ll find a small museum. Nearby Camaguey has more in the way of historical charm, with plazas, colonial churches, and a gaucho ranch attraction. Cuba’s not huge, so the attractions of Santa Clara, home of the Che Guevara Mausoleum, are as easy to explore as mainland beaches and inland jungles. Havana is probably out of reach unless you’re prepared for a very long day or an overnight stop in the iconic capital.
Cayo Guillermo holidays put you on some of the best shorefront in the world. The island itself has three stand-out beaches, totalling around five kilometres of white-sand beaches to explore, or just sit back and chill out on. The most famous is Playa Pilar, which despite the build-up of the tourism sector on the Cayos still retains an unspoiled feel. It’s typical of what you can expect on the island, with palm trees at the back, and a gentle slope into the sea that makes it pretty safe even for kids. The neighbouring island, Caya Coco, also has excellent beaches, with slightly more in the way of drinking and dining beside the sands. Perhaps even better is Isla Medina, the smallest of the islands, with the best access to the coral reef and a restaurant where you can sit and enjoy your seafood supper with some of the best sea views in all of Cuba.
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